Washington hit the ground running with aplomb and a victory in Arizona. Our Redskins blogger Christian Burt goes 3 and out on this satisfying opening day win vs the Cardinals
Peterson and Williams – future Hall of Fame friends
Those first two quarters were such damn good football from Washington. The Redskins outplayed and outscored Arizona 21-zip to lead at half time.
This formidable offensive line, under the tutelage of Bill Callahan, has a ceiling of sky high potential, and they dominated the line of scrimmage. The match up of Arizona’s lighting quick sack master Chandler Jones and future Hall of Famer Skins Trent Williams at Left Tackle was billed as the unstoppable force meets the immovable object.
If you’ve watched Williams over his Redskins career then it was of no surprise that Chandler failed to do anything unstoppable vs the Silverback.
Hell, Chandler could have dialled up Ross and Joey as two extra friendly bodies and Trent wouldn’t even be moved to smile. An absolute rock at LT and all in Washington will be hoping that Williams has an injury free 2018.
Not only did the line protect the rock solid Alex Smith, they also created gaps and blocks for the evergreen Adrian Peterson to exploit. And Peterson exploited to great effect rushing for 96 yards and doing so with all his freakish athletic traits still clearly on display.
Add in his 100th rushing career touchdown and the decision to bring in Adrian after the season ending injury to Guice looks inspired.
The Redskins lost two pretty good CBs in Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller in the off-season to free agency and the Chiefs. On the evidence of Sunday, the Skins decision to go with Quinton Dunbar over Breeland was a sound one.
An interception and island generating plays were evident all game for Quinton. Early this year Dunbar signed a three year contract extension worth $10.5 million (with $5.25 million guaranteed).
Right now that looks excellent business for Washington. Dunbar on one side and Josh Norman on the other is a passing risk to any QB getting moved out the pocket, and even more so when you are a slowing up Sam Bradford.
A starting interior D-Line of Da’Ron Payne, Jon Allen and Matt Ioannidis is an absolute menace and despite the return of the Cardinals blue chip RB David Johnson, Arizona was limited to a measly 68 rushing yards.
In fact, if wanting to pick the bones of a great performance, it could be said that neither one of Ryan Kerrigan or Preston Smith got to register a sack against the ruffled Bradford. Expect both those guys to start munching at the sack table soon though. Everyone gotta eat right?
CT25 explosiveness and Reed Feeds
Chris Thompson was electric out the backfield and amazingly he now looks quicker than pre-injury. CT25 returned with a TD as did the healthy looking Jordan Reed who finished off a 92 yard ten play series with a lovely extended diving catch into the Redzone.
Alex Smith was immense. The new QB oozes confidence in the position and despite limited real game time with his new roster, the #11 was an assured presence. Initially Smith has gone to his backfield receivers and Reed, but over time I’d expect the likes of Paul Richardson and Josh Doctson to gradually see more shots down the field.
Game Ball and next up
This was the first opening day victory of the Jay Gruden era and the team do not appear to have any glaring weaknesses going into Week 2 on home soil at the FedEx. The Colts lost their opening game at the Bengals, but expect Andrew Luck and co to attempt a bounce back win.
Like all rosters, they’ll be holes to fill if the team gets beset with injuries. Rookies WRs Trey Quinn and Cam Sims both exited Sunday with high ankle sprains and it is unknown if any surgery is required. Expect cut guys like Brian Quick to receive a phone call if the medium term outlook is not good.
This was a team performance so it’s real hard to pick a stand out: but if pushed let’s toss that game ball to Ioannidis for his icing on the cake strip sack and general tasty play.